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15 Under 35 Awards
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Younger professionals are having more influence and impact than ever on the daily operations and long-term future of public relations. The PRSA-NY 15 Under 35 Awards – the first awards for the Greater New York PR community’s foremost talent and emerging leaders, awarded by the New York PR community – recognizes young leaders for their hard work and innovation.  


2016 Photo Gallery  |  Awards Luncheon Program (.pdf)   |  “Awards Luncheon” Press Release  

2016 Honorees
(repeated here for easier readability)

  • Cessie Cerrato, Director, Public Relations, Palace Resorts
  • Christa Conte, Vice President, Hotwire PR
  • Katie Creaser, Vice President, Affect
  • Adam Davis, Vice President, Corporate Communications, IMAX Corporation
  • Tori Fernandes, Director, Global Media Relations & Issues Management, Nielsen
  • Ariana Finlayson, Senior Digital Engagement Strategist, MMC
  • Rida Bint Fozi, Senior Account Supervisor, The TASC Group
  • Bettina Garibaldi, Vice President/Director, Ketchum Inc.
  • Kellie Jelencovich, Senior Account Executive, MSLGroup
  • Soogyung Cho Jordan, Global Head of Communications, S&P Dow Jones Indices
  • Lauren Clifford Knudsen, Senior Vice President, J Public Relations
  • Joanna Leis, Senior Account Executive, Finn Partners
  • John Puskar, Vice President, Public Relations and ABC Campaign, Frontier Communications
  • Justin Saia, Senior Director, Strategic Communications, Transactions, Crisis & Restructuring, FTI Consulting
  • Shawna Gallagher Vega, APR, Director of Communications, Xavier High School

to all the recipients and 2016 entrants.  The selection committee had a difficult task selecting only the top 15 honorees from the very strong pool of candidates. We are thrilled to see all the young talent the communications, marketing and public relations industry has to offer!  

Introduced in 2016, the awards will be presented annually.  Nominations are open to anyone 35 and under who works in PR in the New York Metro area (in-house and/or at agencies, including self-nominees) with at least five years of PR experience. 

  • The next Call for Nominations will be announced in February/March 2017.
    • Entrants who were previously submitted but not selected may be nominated again in a future year so long as the age criteria is still met.
  • Award recipients are chosen by a panel of distinguished industry judges as representing the “Best of the Best” in public relations practitioners
  • Winners will be announced via a press release and introduced at the 2017 PRSA-NY Big Apple Awards Gala, the New York PR community’s biggest night of the year.
  • An awards luncheon for the honorees and their colleagues, family and friends will follow in Summer 2017.
  • Award recipients will also be invited to sit on the PRSA-NY Young Professionals Advisory Committee, part of the PRSA-NY Board of Directors, through December 2018.  


Questions about the 15 Under 35 Awards can be sent to


Thank you to our 2016 15 Under 35 Sponsors!












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